Ever since the debacle known as the 2012-2013 season ended, the Jacksonville Jaguars have primed themselves to have one of the most newsworthy offseasons in recent memory. With so many new additions to the organization, one cannot help but feel genuine optimism about the team. So with the 2013 NFL Combine and the 2013 NFL Draft rapidly approaching, here is a quick look at some of the buzz-worthy happenings around EverBank Stadium as of late.
New General Manager: Dave Caldwell was named the Jaguars’ general manager on January 8th, 2013. He is now tasked with building a championship contender from the skeletal remains of a talent-deprived roster (talk about malnutrition). What position does he need to focus on during the draft and free agency? ALL OF THEM. As much as he possibly can. It is no secret that this team needs a complete, highly concentrated overhaul. The Jaguars are in need of a supersaturation of change in the talent level that is displayed on the field. Caldwell is the commander for this operation and I for one am excited to see what moves he makes and the ultimate transformation of the roster as a whole.
New Head Coach: Gus Bradley was named the Jaguars’ head coach on January 17th, 2013. As defensive coordinator for the Seattle Seahawks, Caldwell’s energy, passion and understanding of the game led his unit to an impressive season (according to NFL.com the Seahawks’ defense was 4th in yards allowed per game and 1st in points allowed per game). The struggles of each of the Jaguars’ units are well documented. Bradley will need to dig deep into his reservoir of knowledge and tactics (and no, I am not above trickery and gimmicks) to coach this team back to the playoffs.
Updated Logo: With a February 5th press conference that was filled with oohs and ahhs, the Jaguars unveiled an updated logo, along with other things. The logo received a variety of reviews from local fans, but personally I love it. I will be purchasing ALL of the updated gear once it is made available. The previous Jaguars’ logo was almost 20 years old and needed to be updated to keep up with the changing tides of the organization. I feel this logo successfully encompasses the franchise’s newfound ferocity and sharpness.
Secondary Shield: In terms of sports franchises, this is perhaps one of the most innovative concepts I have ever observed. Mainly because with the shield the organization is identifying with the armed forces, all the while solidifying the relationship that the region has been fortunate to be a part of for so many years. And throw out that this is wonderful marketing, that is far from the point. Showing our armed men and women that a sports franchise is fully behind and intertwined with them, down to the very logo that will be represented on the field, is full of class and love.
Breath of Fresh Air: With that I would just like to say that the things that have been poured out of this organization over the past two months have been inviting and encouraging. I’m ready for the combine, the draft, the organized team activities and everything that is Jaguars related. My enthusiasm was nowhere near as bold once that 2-14 record was etched in the tombstone of the Jaguars’ 2012 season. Mind you that I have not talked about the video board concept, the lettering, the explanation of ticket prices and other small, yet meaningful, things that this franchise has done. So relax your shoulders, lift your head and take a deep breath; the air surrounding the Jacksonville Jaguars is fresh once more.
Ladies and gentlemen, the buzz continues. Next up are the NFL Combine and NFL Draft.